Hardware requirements for GENIVI-based infotainment systems

November 15, 2013 // By Andrew Patterson, Mentor Graphics Corp.
The GENIVI 5.0 specification will be published in late 2013. With each new specification release, GENIVI’s open source base platform becomes more functional and usable by implementers of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. However, the final performance of any GENIVI IVI system is dependent on the underlying hardware and the corresponding peripheral components available to the designer. To get the best possible performance the software needs to be specified with the hardware peripherals in mind. To this end, major semiconductor suppliers are now converging on the must-have range of features for vehicle infotainment systems.

This article looks at some of the technology areas where the marriage between hardware and software is essential to ensure the development of a top-performing GENIVI infotainment system at the right price.

Key requirements from the automotive OEM

The detailed content of GENIVI software releases is far removed from the real-world requirements of automotive OEMs and their tier one implementers. Paramount for the manufacturer are safety, cost, environmental issues, and usability considerations. These, in turn, are dependent on the hardware platform hosting the infotainment software stack. IVI requirements that correlate directly to the underlying hardware might include:

  • A user interface (UI) complying with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • driver distraction guidelines
  • System start-up times (typically < 200ms for infotainment first audio)
  • Hibernate/stand-by states, persistence, and memory
  • Screen layout, access, and UI ease of use
  • Domain consolidation, virtualization; links to other automotive functions and data feeds
  • ASIL classification; safety and ISO 26262 conformance
  • Real-time data streams: camera, radar feeds, etc.
  • Minimizing cost by maximizing use of multicore system-on-chip (SoC) hardware

These high-level requirements map down to specific hardware peripherals, whether relating to connectivity, HMI, data-storage, or multimedia audio-video processing.

Hardware-dependent performance
Almost every aspect of the infotainment end product requires a good hardware foundation. The table below (Figure 1) covers some of the necessary peripherals and the infotainment features that leverage each peripheral.

Figure 1: Automotive hardware features and impact on the IVI system functionality.

Typical vendor examples supporting many of the above features include platforms such as the Freescale i.MX6 family, Texas Instruments' Jacinto range of devices, Renesas R-Car H2/M2, and nVidia’s Tegra family. These platforms are often supplied with software board support packages (BSPs) as a starting point, which often need modification or “hardening” to adapt them for use with the infotainment and GENIVI software components they are hosting.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the more interesting technology areas and how GENIVI is working to

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